Basingstoke Rotary Charity Dinner delivers Spring boost

Generous guests ensured a Basingstoke Rotary Club Charity Dinner gave local charities a real Spring in their step by raising more than £18,000.

One-hundred-and-sixty people attended the black-tie event on a beautiful evening at Audleys Wood Hotel (April 19) – and an enjoyable and memorable evening delivered a great result for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, Home-Start North West Hampshire and other local Rotary-backed charities.

A silent and live auction, raffle, and higher/lower game were all well supported and this contributed to a great fundraising total – the majority of which will go to Ark and Home-Start North West Hampshire.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity is raising £5million towards a much-needed local cancer treatment centre that is earmarked for the Basingstoke hospital site, while Home-Start North West Hampshire provides vital support to struggling families through a network of highly-trained volunteers across Basingstoke and Deane.

Janette Hewitt, chair of trustees at Home-Start North West Hampshire, spoke to the audience about the crucial work that the charity, which needs to raise £100,000 a year to cover its operating costs, does for so many families in the borough, and she appealed for more people to join its army of volunteers.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees gave the audience an update on the progress of Ark’s fundraising campaign – which has now reached £1.8m – and he said that delivering the cancer treatment centre is a top priority for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which will provide most of the funding for the project.

Both speakers thanked everyone for their great support and paid particular tribute to Basingstoke Rotarian Mark Flower, who was the driving force behind the organisation of the successful Charity Dinner.

Mark was delighted with the outcome of the evening, and he thanked all those who had contributed to its success, including fellow Basingstoke Rotarian Bob Jenner OBE, who conducted the live auction, and award-winning Basingstoke singer and Ark Cancer Centre Charity supporter Natasha Watts, whose 30-minute set was among the highlights of the event.

“This was one of the most successful events that Basingstoke Rotary Club has been involved with, and I am delighted that the generous support of those who attended means we have delivered a great result for some very good causes,” said Mark.

“I would like to thank everyone who was involved in making the event happen, and I am particularly grateful to the sponsors, companies, and individuals who donated prizes for the raffle, auctions, or took adverts out in the programme that was kindly produced by Greenhouse Graphics.”

Among the guests at the Charity Dinner were supporters from Ark Our Partner companies Centerprise International, Unum, Lamb Brooks and Merit Group, and the lovely table decorations were supplied for free by Ark Our Partner supporter Debbie Loveridge, of Perpetual Flowers.

Picture caption:

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees (front left), singer Natasha Watts (second left), and fellow Ark Cancer Centre Charity supporters

Picture by Sarah Gaunt Photography